WNBA Star, Candace Parker, Is Headed Home After 13 Seasons In Los Angeles


Candace Parker, WNBA Star. Photo Courtesy Getty Images

Tenesha Green, Editor-in-Chief

February 1, 2021. The day that had Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) fans shocked. The WNBA’s two-time MVP, one-time WNBA Champion, and five-time WNBA All-Star Candace Parker was traded to the Chicago Sky to play the final years of her career after spending 13 seasons with the Los Angeles Sparks.

I’ve been a fan of Parker’s since I was in the 6th grade. Her 6-4 ft. frame, ability to play around the rim, and pull her defender out to the three-point line is what makes her one of the most versatile power forwards in the game. After sitting down and thinking about the trade, I realized that this was a good move for Parker because she’ll be headed back to her home state.

Parker was raised in Naperville, Illinois, about 45 minutes east of Chicago. It’s the city where she fell in love with the game and blossomed as a player. She attended Naperville Central High School and had an outstanding career. In her sophomore year, Parker dunked in a game and became the first female athlete in the state to do so. She finished her high school career with 2,768 points, 1,592 rebounds and led her team to back-to-back Class AA state titles in 2003 and 2004. After high school she packed up and headed to Knoxville, Tennessee to play under the late Pat Summitt at the University of Tennessee. Once her career ended in Tennessee, she was the first-round draft pick of the 2008 WNBA Draft and had been in Los Angeles since.

Entering her 13th season in the league Parker, 34, has a lot more years behind her than ahead of her. When you’re a decorated player and towards the end of your career, you’ll want to pay homage to the place that inspired your love for the game. When James Wade, Head Coach of the Chicago Sky, reached out and asked her to come play for him. She didn’t even hesitate.

WNBA news: Candace Parker shocks league, joins Chicago Sky
Candace Parker is headed to the Chicago Sky after 13 seasons with the Los Angeles Sparks. Photo Courtesy of ClutchPoints.com

Now I know that some critics will look at the Chicago Sky franchise and wonder if Parker can even win another WNBA title before she retires. During the 2020 season the Sky went 12-10 while the Sparks were 15-7. The Sky were number one in the Eastern Conference and 6th overall in the league.

Coming into the 2021 season, the Sky are loaded with guards who run the floor and know how to dish the ball to their post players. Courtney Vandersloot, ten-year veteran, finished the 2020 season averaging ten assists for the season, the first WNBA player to do so.

With the players the Sky have acquired, Parker’s game will be able to flourish much like it did in LA. The Sky are equipped with pure post players like Azurá Stevens, lighting it up from beyond the arc. With so many scoring threats on one team, defenses are going to have to stretch and that leaves room for Parker’s versatile game to score inside and out.

If you’ve never watched a WNBA game before, this upcoming season would be the best time to start. Across the league there will be more competitive basketball happening, but Chicago is going to surprise a lot of viewers. The team holds plenty of talent and adding Parker to the mix will ensure for entertaining basketball.

Tenesha Green, Editor-in-Chief